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Animal In the Attic

Animals inside the attic - this is our area of top specialty. It is not easy work, and there are many important variables - removal of critters in the attic requires very specific special knowledge. For example, we must consider these factors:

  • TYPE OF ANIMAL: The methods vary considerably depending on the type of animal in the attic. If you have rats, the entire building must be sealed FIRST, and then all the rats trapped and removed. If you have squirrels, you need to mount a trap right on the primary entry/exit hole, either to trap them or exclude them if the rest of the architecture allows. If you have raccoons, you must be wary of the fact that there is a 90% chance of a litter of baby raccoons in the attic. Birds and bats require very specific and unique removal tactics.
  • TYPE OF BUILDING: Some homes are straightforward. Many have unique architectural features. Entry points can vary wildly. Some homes may have exposed ridge vents, or some homes have unsealed eave gaps. Some homes have cathedral ceilings or small crawl spaces in the ceiling with no attic access at all. A cedar shake or barrel tile roof has thousands of entry areas. Commercial buildings, restaurants, small homes, condos, apartments, every building is different, and experience matters a great deal when understanding the correct way to remove wildlife from different types of buildings.
  • TIME OF YEAR: This matters a lot, because most animals inside an attic are there to build a nest and raise baby animals. Squirrels give birth twice a year, in late summer and late winter, and the babies take only about 8 weeks to be full-grown. Raccoons usually have young in spring, but it varies depending on climate. Different bat species have different maternity seasons (usually in the summer) and it's illegal to remove bats during the maternity season.

I could go on discussing other factors, but the point is that the removal of animals in the attic requires a great deal of knowledge, experience, and the right tools for the job. It is much more complex than a simple case of an animal outside. The risks of failure are high - property damage, animals being sealed inside a house and ripping their way into the house or dying and causing a big odor problem, repeat problems if areas are not sealed with professional repairs, and so on. Your best decision, if you want to know how to get animals out of the attic, is to get professional help.

Bats in the Attic
Bird in the Attic
Dead Animal in the Attic
Opossum in the Attic
Raccoon in the Attic
Rat in the Attic
Snake in the Attic
Squirrel in the Attic

How To Remove Wild Animals In The Attic

The first sign that most people will recognize when it comes to having wild animals in the attic will be the sound of scratching or gnawing coming down through the ceiling, although spotting animals on the roof can also be a common sign. This should be a call to action, as animals in the attic or roof space can be a significant problem, and the longer that they are allowed to remain, the greater the amount of damage that they are likely to cause. As well as the destruction of insulation material and the contamination of the space with urine and feces, animals are also known to gnaw on electrical cables and wires, which can cause a significant problem such as a power cut or the loss of signal from an aerial or satellite dish.

Identifying The Species Causing The Problem

In the majority of cases, the animals that find their way into the roof space will be rodents, and this is particularly a problem during mating season, when the females are looking for a dark and warm location where they can safely give birth to their young. One of the indicators can be the time that you hear noise from the attic, as raccoons and squirrels are generally nocturnal, while rats are animals that can be active in the day and during the night. It is also worth checking for entry holes, as raccoons will usually need holes that are a little bigger, while looking around smaller entry holes you will sometimes find brown stains, which indicate rats, while smaller entry holes without the stains will suggest that you may have squirrels in the attic.

Trapping And Removing Rats, Squirrels And Raccoons

When it comes to dealing with rats, because of the health risks many people will choose to use lethal snap traps, because rats are a particularly difficult species to release in to the wild, as they can be a problem wherever they are released. Catching and releasing using a cage trap is a much better option when it comes to dealing with the larger animals such as raccoons, as using a lethal trap in the case of a raccoon can be a major issue as it would need to be installed outside, and can catch domestic pets too.

One important aspect is that poison should be avoided as a method of dealing with these animals, as it will make it difficult to locate the carcass, meaning you could have a smelly problem in your property in a few months time. Poison is also an extremely cruel and painful way for an animal to die.

Excluding Bats From Your Attic

Bats are a very different problem that you can encounter in the attic, and in some cases they can be a welcome population as they eat insects such as wasps and mosquitoes, but in some cases they can also be a problem. The best approach here if you do want to get rid of the bats is to hire a professional, as the task of excluding bats from an attic is very difficult. Bats can get in and out of an attic through a hole that is less than half an inch in size, and will usually have multiple entry points. Exclusion devices such as netting, funnels or cones will need to be installed over these entry points so that the bats can get out, but not get back in, and once all of the bats are out of the attic, all of the entry points will need to be securely sealed.

Repairing Damage In The Attic

Once you have removed all of the animals from the attic itself, you will need to repair the damage that has been caused by the animals. Examine the insulation material, as there are parts that will usually need to be replaced having been contaminated by urine and feces. It is also worth examining any cables running through the attic to see if they have been chewed or damaged. If you are dealing with a bat infestation, you may have a significant amount of guano to clean, and whenever you are dealing with fecal matter, make sure you take the appropriate precautions to avoid inhaling any bacteria.

Ensuring The Attic Is Sealed To Prevent Further Wild Animal Problems

Having dealt with any repairs in the attic, it is also important that you seal any entry holes that were being used by the animals to get in and out of the attic. This will often require a thorough examination, but it is well worth the effort to examine every corner of the attic. When it comes to sealing these holes, a sealant will work on the smaller holes, but for larger repairs or damage, it is worth reinforcing any repairs with a steel mesh to make it particularly difficult for any other animals to gain access by the same method.

Go back to the main How to Get Rid of Wild Animals page for more information about dangers and signs of animal in the attic.
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